Two Emirates flights from Athens airport were disrupted on Thursday evening after a CIA alert received by Greek authorities.
A U.S.-bound Emirates plane made an emergency landing at Athens International Airport “El. Venizelos”. Another flight was grounded.
The CIA’s information referred to “the possible presence of a suspected terrorist individual who may pose a threat to flight safety.” The suspect, who is said to be of Arab or Turkish descent, has not been located.
Initial information indicated that the suspect was planning a terrorist attack. However, the alert ended shortly before midnight, when the Greek police announced in an official statement that no suspect or anything suspicious had been found in either plane.
CIA concerned about global security
The CIA is a civilian foreign intelligence service for the federal government of the U.S. based in Langley, Virginia (the Washington DC metro area). It analyzes intelligence and strives to pre-empt threats. Focused on national security, it defines this sphere globally.
The American intelligence agency also disseminates vital information, whether that be political, economic, military, or scientific to allies abroad. Historically, the CIA has done other activities. But this framework appears to suit the matter under consideration.
A warning from the CIA was issued. There was the potential presence of suspicious persons. Were there security threats on one of the two planes bound for Newark or Dubai?
Newark is a city in New Jersey in the New York City metropolitan area. Many bound for New York fly in and out of Newark. Dubai is a city in the United Arab Emirates on the Arabian peninsula.
First Emirates plane grounded before takeoff
The first Emirates plane was supposed to travel to Dubai. It was grounded before takeoff. The passengers disembarked. Everyone was fully checked on the entire plane. Since nothing suspicious was found, the plane eventually took off for Dubai at 22:06 GMT.
— Fragolevantinos (@fragolevantinos) November 10, 2022
The other flight, Emirates EK 209, managed to take off for Newark. While over Sardinia, this plane signaled to return to Athens airport. Neither France nor Italy allowed the plane to land at any of their airports. There was no alternative. T
he plane had to return to Athens “El. Venizelos.” The flight path of the aircraft is shown on the maps below.
Second plane had to return
— FranceNews24 (@FranceNews24) November 10, 2022
From the moment it entered national airspace, Flight EK 209, carrying 228 passengers and 18 crew members, was accompanied by two F16s of the Greek Air Force. These are compact multi-role fighter aircraft.
These fighter jets took off at 21:09 GMT from the Souda base. The Emirates plane was 120 miles southwest of Kalamata when the fighter jets, with missile launching capacities, were ordered to take off. NATO gave the order.
Eventually, the plane landed in Athens. Nothing suspicious was found. Passengers and crew spent the night in the Greek capital and will resume their journey to the US on Friday.